Moscow — Russian president Vladimir Putin Oct. 26 approved the strategy for developing Russia's Arctic zone and ensuring national security up to 2035.
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Russia continues to see the Arctic as a key development priority, despite growing concerns over the impact of climate change on the region.
The strategy acknowledged that temperatures in the region are warming 2-2.5 times faster than the global average, and states that this poses both opportunities and risks for the economy and environment.
Opportunities include further development of hydrocarbons reserves in Russia's Arctic offshore zone, which contains over 85.1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 17.3 billion mt of crude and condensate. The strategy includes plans to increase the Arctic's role in overall Russian crude and condensate production from 17.3% in 2018, to 20% in 2024, 23% in 2030, and 26% in 2035.
Russia plans to increase LNG production in the region from 8.6 million mt in 2018, to 43 million mt in 2024, 64 million mt in 2030 and 91 million mt in 2035.
Arctic production is set to play a decreasing role in national natural gas output, falling from 82.7% in 2018, to 82% in 2024, 81% in 2030, and 79% in 2035.
Russia also plans further development of the Northern Sea Route, which is set to become a more significant global transport corridor as temperatures rise.
Russia plans to increase shipments via the route, which runs through Arctic waters, from 31.5 million mt in 2019, to 90 million mt in 2030 and 130 million mt in 2031.
The strategy envisages state support for investment in energy, transport and infrastructure as well as oil and gas technology.
State support will also be provided for mitigating the impact of climate change on the region, including for projects that improve energy efficiency and develop the use of LNG and renewables in the region.
The strategy also envisages measures to improve monitoring and clean-up of environmental damage as well as minimizing emissions and pollution of waterways including from oil spills. Russia plans to develop a plan for international study of Arctic ecosystems and climate change, including establishing a research center.
The strategy acknowledges the need to clarify Arctic offshore boundaries, and the growth in conflict potential in the region.